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Europe needs a concerted fiscal stimulus

Publishing date
17 November 2008

Jean Pisani-Ferry, André Sapir and Jakob von Weizsäcker outline in this opinion piece the ingredients needed to bring together a European recovery programme (also see policy brief "A European Recovery programme". Their proposal supports the G-20 communiqué calling for 'fiscal measures to stimulate domestic demand to rapid effect' and underlines the needs to maintain 'a policy framework conducive to fiscal sustainability' by reinforcing the Stability and Growth Pact.

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This comment was also published by the Financial Times, Gazeta Prawna and Les Echos.

About the authors

  • Jean Pisani-Ferry

    Jean Pisani-Ferry holds the Tommaso Padoa Schioppa chair of the European University Institute. He is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, the European think tank, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute (Washington DC). He is also a professor of economics with Sciences Po (Paris).

    He sits on the supervisory board of the French Caisse des Dépôts and serves as non-executive chair of I4CE, the French institute for climate economics.

    Pisani-Ferry served from 2013 to 2016 as Commissioner-General of France Stratégie, the ideas lab of the French government. In 2017, he contributed to Emmanuel Macron’s presidential bid as the Director of programme and ideas of his campaign. He was from 2005 to 2013 the Founding Director of Bruegel, the Brussels-based economic think tank that he had contributed to create. Beforehand, he was Executive President of the French PM’s Council of Economic Analysis (2001-2002), Senior Economic Adviser to the French Minister of Finance (1997-2000), and Director of CEPII, the French institute for international economics (1992-1997).

    Pisani-Ferry has taught at University Paris-Dauphine, École Polytechnique, École Centrale and the Free University of Brussels. His publications include numerous books and articles on economic policy and European policy issues. He has also been an active contributor to public debates with regular columns in Le Monde and for Project Syndicate.

  • André Sapir

    André Sapir, a Belgian citizen, is Senior Fellow at Bruegel. He is also University Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Research Fellow of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.

    Between 1990 and 2004, he worked for the European Commission, first as Economic Advisor to the Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, and then as Principal Economic Advisor to President Prodi, also heading his Economic Advisory Group. In 2004, he published 'An Agenda for a Growing Europe', a report to the president of the Commission by a group of independent experts that is known as the Sapir report. After leaving the Commission, he first served as External Member of President Barroso’s Economic Advisory Group and then as Member of the General Board (and Chair of the Advisory Scientific Committee) of the European Systemic Risk Board based at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

    André has written extensively on European integration, international trade, and globalisation. He holds a PhD in economics from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he worked under the supervision of Béla Balassa. He was elected Member of the Academia Europaea and of the Royal Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

  • Jakob von Weizsäcker

    Jakob von Weizsäcker heads the department for economic policy and tourism at the Thuringian Economics Ministry in Erfurt and is a non-resident fellow at Bruegel where he was resident fellow form 2005 to 2010.

    He previously worked at the World Bank in Washington (2002-2005) where he was country economist for Tajikistan and the Federal Economics Ministry in Berlin (2001-2002) where he headed the office of a junior minister. Before that, he worked for Vesta, a venture capital firm, and held research positions at the Center for Economic Studies in Munich and CIRED in Paris.

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The platform could become an effective emergency tool to safeguard Europe’s gas supply, but policymakers need to address challenges to make it work.

Walter Boltz, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Thierry Deschuyteneer, Leigh Hancher, François Lévêque, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Ben McWilliams, Axel Ockenfels, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann